AirVPN is a budget-friendly option that claims to provide robust protection against online threats. Plus, it says it offers high-performance servers. But can it really rival the top VPNs, or is the price so low because it’s not that good?
After testing all its features, I found that AirVPN is secure, but it can't match the best VPNs. It has many great security features, solid speeds and works well for gaming and torrenting. However, it has a small network with average streaming capabilities and no 24/7 live chat. You can check out this list of top-rated VPNs that excel in every area.
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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
AirVPN Features — 2024 Update
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Streaming — Unreliable for Unblocking Streaming Services5.6
AirVPN isn't the best option for streaming. While I was able to access a few services, I had to put in extra effort to view any content on sites like Peacock. The experience could have been better if the VPN offered specialized servers for streaming. You can unblock the most popular platforms in seconds with a VPN from this list.
Unblocked: Max, Disney+, Netflix, and Peacock
AirVPN easily accessed Max (HBO Max), though I noticed some buffering when I skipped to different sections of the videos.
I was able to watch the video in great quality after a few seconds
The VPN also let me enjoy several titles on Disney+, but they didn't load instantly.
I was also able to watch videos on Disney+ with AirVPN’s servers in the UK
On my next test, I quickly unblocked Netflix on different servers, including Germany, the US, and Japan, but I could only access Netflix Originals. This is a version of the site that has Netflix's own shows and movies. For example, its UK server didn’t let me stream It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show that is exclusive to the UK library.
My Netflix videos loaded in seconds and the quality was consistent
With Peacock, the experience was inconsistent. I had to switch through multiple servers before finding a handful that performed well.
Blocked By: ITVX, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and ESPN+
AirVPN didn’t work with ITVX.
It also failed to work with BBC iPlayer, even after switching servers
Both Hulu and Amazon Prime Video detected my VPN usage and blocked all my attempts to stream any title.
Although I managed to access ESPN+, none of the videos I attempted to watch actually loaded.
Speed — Fast on Most Servers9.4
AirVPN gave me good speeds on most servers, and sometimes the distant ones were a bit faster. All the results below were recorded using WireGuard because it outperformed OpenVPN.
We record our speed tests from a single location using the same internet connection to ensure fair comparisons. This is done by our dedicated expert in the UK who tests every VPN we review. A minimum of 10 tests were done on each server.
Our speeds dropped 5% on average with nearby servers, and 35% on distant ones
The local UK server decreased our speeds by just 1%, while nearby servers in Europe caused reductions of less than 7%. You can expect a drop of 20%+ with most VPN’s, even on short distances (under 5,000 km), so this is impressive.
I was surprised when the distant New Zealand server outperformed the closer ones in Canada and Brazil. This trend was consistent for servers located in Europe and Asia as well. Much of this can be attributed to varying server loads, and I appreciate that the VPN displays this information for each server.
After multiple tests, it never dropped our speeds by more than 9%
Overall, AirVPN is a good option when it comes to speed. It’s not as fast as the absolute best, like ExpressVPN, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
Gaming — A Good Pick for Online Gamers7.6
AirVPN let me play World of Tanks with zero lag while connected to servers across the UK and Netherlands. These were some of the closest servers I could find to my location. I also tried more distant ones in Canada and the US. With them, I noticed a few instances of lag, primarily due to high ping rates of around 250ms.
With faraway servers, my tanks didn’t fire as soon as I pressed the mouse
A ping rate below 100ms is recommended for a seamless gaming experience, so always opt for a nearby server to ensure minimal latency. Unfortunately, the VPN has no server in Kenya or anywhere in Africa, so it wasn’t possible for me to test its performance in close proximity. However, its fast speeds make it a solid choice as long as you can find a server around 10,000km away or less.
Server Network — Limited and Not Well Distributed4.4
AirVPN has a small server network of 246 servers spread out across 23 countries. Most of the locations are in Europe, including some more rare countries like Bulgaria and Estonia. This is followed by North America, with a handful of locations in Asia and a single server in Oceania and South America.
The Netherlands has the highest number of servers, closely followed by the US and Canada. Unfortunately, it has no servers in the Middle East or Africa. It offers city-level servers in most countries, a feature not common in many VPNs. There are 10 cities available in the US alone, which is impressive.
Use the button below the ✓ and X to clear servers from the allowlist and blocklist
AirVPN offers RAM-based servers and runs its own Private DNS servers. The former deletes your browsing history with every reboot, which is good for your privacy. On the other hand, the latter enhances your online safety (more on that in the security section).
It owns some of its servers and leases others. I lean towards VPNs that own all their servers, as this cuts out any intermediaries that might jeopardize my privacy. All these servers are physical, so their location is as stated.
I did have a few connection issues, but I was able to fix them. I had to switch protocols on 3 occasions, but setting it to “Automatic” seems to work best. Support was also able to help me download an updated app version that fixed a WireGuard connection issue. Its “recommended server” feature helped me get around these problems too. It calculates your “best” server based on several factors including ping, load, and failed connections.
Identifying servers can be a little confusing since it names them after celestial objects.
However, it offsets this by adding the server's country and a corresponding flag. It’s a cute idea, but it does make the app's server menu cluttered and possibly frustrating.
On top of that, it doesn’t offer dedicated IPs — I use them to avoid the frequent CAPTCHAs associated with shared VPN IPs. Overall, this is one category where AirVPN falls short. You can try a VPN with a huge worldwide server network on this list.
Security — Wide Range of Excellent Features9.0
AirVPN comes with features that are standard among top VPNs. However, some of its features are a little strange, like its kill switch. It cuts off all active connections outside its tunnel. So, be sure to deactivate it when not using the VPN to freely access and navigate the web. Nonetheless, all its features do the job, and I appreciate that it's compatible with Tor.
AirVPN uses military-grade (AES 256-bit) or CHACHA20-POLY1305 encryption. AES 256-bit encryption is a gold standard for the industry's top VPNs due to its near-impenetrable nature. For WireGuard connections, the VPN employs CHACHA20-POLY1305, which, while not as prevalent, offers both speed and security.
It also utilizes Perfect Forward Secrecy, which frequently rotates your encryption keys. So, even in the rare event an old key is compromised, your data stays safe with a newly generated key.
It offers 2 security protocols, OpenVPN and WireGuard. OpenVPN is very secure due to its open-source nature, which means it’s being checked constantly for vulnerabilities by experts. WireGuard is optimized for speed and security, and I use it to enhance my streaming experience.
The VPN also lets you use OpenVPN over Secure Shell (SSH) or OpenVPN over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to conceal OpenVPN connections. This is beneficial, especially in instances where ISPs or DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) systems in countries like China attempt to interfere with or block OpenVPN connections upon detection. In short, this works as its stealth or obfuscation feature.
DNS, IP, and WebRTC Leaks
My tests never detected any leaks on all 10 servers I tried.
I tested each server for leaks multiple times and consistently found none
This means the VPN protected my sensitive information from leaking while using its servers. I also appreciate that it has IPv6 protection as that technology is becoming more popular.
Private DNS Servers
AirVPN provides extra protection by making sure all your requests go through its own DNS servers every time you establish a connection. This prevents third parties from intercepting your DNS queries and responses, a vulnerability often associated with public DNS servers.
Kill Switch (Network Lock)
This feature ensured I was using a secure connection. It immediately stops internet access if the VPN stops working, preventing your IP address from being exposed. This is a must-have safety option for any VPN to protect your information, and I wouldn't recommend a service that lacks it.
I use this to access my local and international subscriptions simultaneously by choosing which websites or apps use the VPN and which use my regular internet connection.
I had to ask support where to find this feature on Android
AirVPN labels this feature as “routes” on both Mac and Windows, and it's straightforward to find — unlike on its Android version. On both desktop platforms, it lets you choose which websites (by IP address, host, or range) use the VPN.
DNS Block List
This feature lets you easily avoid sites you don’t want to visit, such as porn, and dating services. Plus, it prevents your system from connecting to domains that are associated with malware, cryptojacking, and more.
The DNS blocklist is active by default, but AirVPN allows you to modify these settings
I also liked how it blocked ads during my tests, resulting in a better experience on sites like speedtest.net, which often displays annoying ads.
Privacy — Transparent Policy but Still Unproven7.2
Does AirVPN Keep Logs? No
AirVPN pledges not to log sensitive information like your IP address and browsing history. It further prioritizes your privacy by allowing account setup with a temporary email and offering cryptocurrency as a payment option.
It further enhances your privacy by not storing payment notifications it receives from payment processors
The technical specifics it gathers to maintain your VPN connections are anonymized, and stored temporarily. This is within its automated RAM-based systems, and the data is kept only as long as necessary to deliver the service. This ensures that no information can be stored in a way that could be traced back to you.
Was AirVPN Audited? No
There's no proof that AirVPN's policies or apps have undergone independent audits. Leading VPNs employ trustworthy external specialists to confirm their dedication to privacy. I recognize that this could be a costly undertaking, but I hope they will find a way to accomplish this in the future.
Based in Italy
AirVPN is based in Italy, a country within the 14 Eyes Alliance. This is a collection of countries that have agreed to share their citizens' online data. So, there is a potential risk that the VPN could be compelled by third-party agencies to collect and share user information. However, if it were asked today, it would have nothing to share due to its logging policies.
Does AirVPN Work in China? Yes
AirVPN’s support of OpenVPN over SSH or SSL means you can use it in China to access services like Gmail, BBC, or Instagram. This feature could also help you use the VPN in other countries with internet restrictions, like Iran, UAE, and Turkey.
From my experience, only a few VPNs provide unfettered internet access in China
While the Chinese government bans many VPNs, it typically doesn’t target individual users. However, my team and I don’t condone any illegal activities. We highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the country's laws before choosing to use a VPN there.
Torrenting — Great Choice, and Supports P2P on All Servers9.0
I experienced fast download speeds on the few distant servers I tried. However, its lack of servers in Kenya (my location) or throughout Africa really left me curious about its potential on nearby servers.
It let me download an 821 MB file in 11 minutes and 36 seconds, which I finished in 11 minutes and 4 seconds with no VPN. This is really impressive, considering I was connected to a server in the Netherlands (6,000+ km away).
After enabling port forwarding, the time was cut down to 10 minutes and 14 seconds. In addition, its unlimited bandwidth and great security features gave me the confidence to use AirVPN with programs like BitTorrent.
Although torrenting is generally legal in most countries, it's important to note that downloading pirated content isn’t. Therefore, I advise only torrenting files that are in the public domain to stay within the boundaries of the law.
Installation & Apps
Installation & Apps — Multi-Platform Support
AirVPN’s apps (Eddie) are easy to set up, but they’re better suited for advanced users due to its many customization options. The main screen, while not entirely intuitive, has an overview button that shows the sign-in section, a kill switch, and a quick-connect tab to a recommended server. Other features on the main screen are speed, stats, logs, and preferences.
To quickly see the number of servers available in each country, select the "Countries" button
The desktop apps’ interface closely mirrors the Android version, and all apps display helpful information like download and upload speed upon establishing a connection.
Setup & Installation
I installed the VPN and connected to a server in under 5 minutes. The process also involves a third party client called Eddie, but this doesn’t noticeably affect the experience. You can set it up and get started just as quickly as you do with other popular VPNs.
AirVPN provides detailed guides on how to configure these clients
Windows, Mac, and Linux apps can be downloaded from its website. The Android app is available on the Play Store.
AirVPN works with many popular operating systems. However, there are no browser extensions, and you have to connect manually on iOS devices. I appreciate that it provides reasons on its website for not developing software for iOS, but it’s still a little disappointing. You can try out one of the best VPNs with full apps for iOS in this list.
On the other hand, I’m pleased it offers the smart DNS feature. This lets you change locations on devices that don’t usually support VPNs, like gaming consoles and smart TVs. You can even configure AirVPN on a compatible router to encrypt all connections in your house.
Desktop — Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS
AirVPN has native apps for Mac, Windows, and Linux. The Mac and Windows apps have comparable features. For Linux, both the CLI and GUI apps are available for distros such as Raspberry Pi OS, Fedora, and Arch. For Chrome OS, the OpenVPN or WireGuard configuration files are accessible in the client area of AirVPN's website.
The VPN has a dedicated app for Android, and you can download an APK file directly from its website. So, you don’t have to worry if your smartphone doesn’t support the Play Store.
Although most desktop features are present on Android, I was thrown off by the different feature names used by the VPN. I hope they'll standardize these terms in the future for a more user-friendly experience.
Apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV
It has apps for devices in Amazon's lineup, including FireStick and Fire HD tablets. You can even sideload AirVPN onto an Android TV or Fire OS device from the VPN’s website with the Downloader app.
Sideloading is the process of installing apps from outside of the official stores. I recommend using Downloader because it’s officially in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore, is easy to use, and is available at no extra charge.
For now, AirVPN supports selected routers, including DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, and pfSense. The VPN provides a detailed setup guide for each. I do recommend being careful connecting it to your router as it’s possible to damage them. Some VPNs offer pre-configured routers to get around this issue.
Simultaneous Device Connections
You can use AirVPN on up to 5 devices at the same time without any issues. In my tests, I was able to stream videos in great quality on my Fire HD tablet, 2 Android phones, and laptop while connected to the same US server. If you need to cover every device in your house, I recommend options like Private Internet Access and Surfshark that have unlimited connections.
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